APC resolution: Govt drags feet on presenting bill in NA

Tussle expected with opposition over the DHA bill.


Zahid Gishkori October 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The government is delaying the presentation of the 13-point resolution passed by the All Parties Conference (APC) which envisages the constitution of a parliamentary committee to oversee implementation on all resolutions, according to lawmakers across the political divide. 


The government has yet to table the resolution in the National Assembly (NA) which has only two days left for scheduled business. If the government tables the APC resolution by Tuesday, the last scheduled business day, the NA Speaker will pass an order for the committee’s constitution after calling for a vote, said a senior official of the parliament secretariat. The NA cannot constitute the committee until the resolution becomes the property of the house, he added. “The government did not present the resolution in parliament to avoid criticism,” said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary Information Mushahidullah Khan. “The ruling party is under pressure now as it is expecting resistance on numerous issues on Monday, especially the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Bill, 2007,” he added. The parliamentary committee cannot be constituted until it is endorsed by parliament, according to parliamentary rules. The object of this committee is to review progress on resolutions on a monthly basis.

On Thursday, Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khursheed Shah said the government had asked political parties to nominate lawmakers for the committee. “We will constitute the committee once we receive the names,” Shah had told reporters at the parliament house. However, Khan denied the PML-N had been sent any request for names.”  The ruling coalition Awami National Party (ANP) had not been consulted either till the time this story was filed, according to Secretary Information ANP Zahid Khan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Kamil Ali Agha said his party was not asked to recommend names for the committee.

He said he could not comment on the issue till chief whip Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain returned from a foreign trip.

Meanwhile, the government has only Sunday to consult with major political parties to pass the long-awaited DHA Bill for Islamabad. The PML-N has announced that it will block the bill by all means in parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2011.

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